QUEENS — Firefighters rescued a construction worker left dangling five storeys high after a scaffold collapsed outside a Sunnyside building Monday, officials said.
Stalyn Suauzhanay, 27, was doing facade work on a scaffold at 41-15 45th Street about 11 a.m. when the motor mechanism that supports the lift apparently malfunctioned. That's when the scaffold collapsed, leaving the worker hanging from the fifth-floor window.
"I thought I was going to die," Suauzhanay said.
Shocked neighbors helplessly watched Suauzhanay suspended in air, his feet hanging on to an air-conditioner and a window sill.
"We saw the guy hanging from the wall," said resident Francois Nezwazsky, 60, whose wife called 911. "We saw he was tethered to the rope. We were concerned.
"The challenge was getting him back in," he added.
Firefighters eventually plucked Suauzhanay, who was wearing a safety harness and tied to lifelines, to safety through the window, officials said.
Paramedics evaluated Suauzhanay at the scene and determined that he was not injured.
The Department of Buildings is investigating the cause of the accident.
Suauzhanay's employer, Queens-based contractor Prestige Construction Corporation, could not be reached for comment.